COVID-19 pandemic: This release was compiled during the COVID-19 pandemic. Users should be aware that the quality of the underlying data has been impacted by the crisis and therefore may not be directly comparable with previous periods data. For details regarding how this data has been affected See here.
The CSO understands the severe difficulties now being faced by survey respondents and that filling in the survey forms may not be top of their list at present, however it is by collecting survey information that we will be able to report on the effects of COVID-19 on our economy and society.
Insofar as possible, we are continuing to collect survey information from businesses so that we can provide statistics that show the changing situation from March 2020 onwards. We appreciate the ongoing support of the business community and understand the difficulties faced by all.
|'000 tonnes (carcass weight equivalent)|
The total supply of meat in Ireland reached 1,309,300 tonnes in 2015, an increase of 20,000 tonnes or 1.5% in comparison to 2014.
Livestock slaughterings increased by 0.8% to reach 1,027,400 tonnes, while imports of meat amounted to 281,800 tonnes, an increase of 4.4%.
Almost 70% of the total available supply of meat or 907,600 thousand tonnes was exported, and the remaining 401,600 tonnes (30.7%) were used domestically.
Self-sufficiency in total meat and meat products remained unchanged at 274% between 2014 and 2015, while self-sufficiency in beef and veal dropped from 705% to 678%.
|Table 1 Meat Supply Balance 2013-2015|
|Slaughterings||Imports of||Supplies||Exports of||Variation||Domestic||Human||Gross Indigenous||Self-|
|meat||= Uses||meat||in stocks||Uses||consumption||production||Sufficiency|
|'000 tonnes (carcass weight equivalent)||kg per capita||'000 tonnes||%|
|Beef and veal||2013||518||34||552||465||0||87||18.9||551||634|
|Totals may not equal the sum of the categories due to rounding differences.|
|Beef and veal||633.8825||705.4479||677.5101|
|Table 2 Share of products in the total consumption of meat in Ireland|
|Beef and veal||22.3%||21.9%||21.7%|
The objective of a supply balance is to reconcile the total supplies of a product with the various uses of that product taking into account changes in stock levels. Supply balance sheets are compiled on the basis of harmonised concepts agreed between the European Union countries.
The total supply of a meat in the country during a year is comprised of meat available from livestock slaughtering and imports. This may be used for export, domestic uses or stocked for future use. Only exports of meat and meat products need to be accounted for, since animals exported live do not constitute part of the supply. Imports of live animals are also not accounted for separately, since the imported animals are slaughtered in the country and then accounted for on supply side as meat.
Supply and use must balance each other, i.e. the following equation must hold in any chosen year
Slaughtering + Imports of meat = Exports of meat + Domestic uses + Change in stocks
In practice one item in each product balance is always calculated as a balancing residual from equation above, rather than taken directly from the data sources, in order to ensure that the exact balance holds. The balancing item depends on the type of meat: for beef and veal, sheep and pig meat this is exports, while for poultry the balancing item is domestic uses.
The figures for livestock slaughtering include those carried out at both meat establishments approved by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) and slaughterhouses and meat plants approved by Local Authorities under S.I. 432 of 2009. Poultry slaughterings are derived from data received from the DAFM.
The figures for imports and exports of meat and meat products are derived from CSO’s external trade statistics. The raw tonnage of meat and meat products traded is converted to carcass weight equivalent using a set of conversion factors agreed with European and national industry experts.
Variation in stocks
Variation in stocks is the net difference between movement of product into stocks and out of stocks in the course of the year. The variation in stocks of meat and meat products is usually very small compared to other items of the balance and is assumed to be negligible in this release.
Estimates for domestic uses of beef and veal, sheep and pig meat are provided by Bord Bia. These include mainly human consumption both in households (retail) and services establishments, such as restaurants and bars. It is assumed that the amount of meat used for other purposes, such as animal feed, and losses are negligible.
The estimates of per capita human consumption are derived by dividing the total domestic uses by the population estimate produced by the CSO. No account is taken of meat consumed while on overseas and cross-border travel trips.
Gross indigenous production
Gross indigenous production (GIP) is calculated as livestock slaughtering plus exports of live animals less imports of live animals, with all three items converted to carcass equivalent.
GIP = Livestock slaughtering + Live exports – Live imports
Average carcass weights used for conversion are provided by the DAFM (finished animals) and industry experts (calves and young cattle). The numbers of live animals traded in and out of the country are provided by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Self-sufficiency is defined as gross indigenous production expressed as a percentage of domestic uses. Self-sufficiency in excess of 100% for any of the products means that the country is a net exporter of the given product.
All figures in the release are shown in carcass weight equivalent.
For cattle, the carcass weight is defined as the slaughtered animal’s cold body weight after being skinned, bled and eviscerated and after removal of external genitalia, the limbs at the carpus and tarsus, head, tail, kidneys and kidney fats and the udder.
For sheep, the carcass weight is defined as the slaughtered animal’s cold body weight after being skinned, bled and eviscerated and after removal of the head, feet, tail and genital organs including the udder. Kidneys and kidney fats are included in the carcass.
For pigs, the carcass weight is defined as the slaughtered animal’s cold body weight either whole or divided in half along the mid-line, after being bled and eviscerated and after the removal of the tongue, bristles, hooves, genitalia, flare fat, kidneys and diaphragm.Hide Background Notes
Scan the QR code below to view this release online or go to